Ms. Marvel Project

May goals

It’s the beginning of a new month and with the lack of motivation I’ve been feeling in recent times, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to set some new goals for myself that will take me further in the Ms. Marvel Project as well as in life.

1. <b>Start running</b>: Since I was a kid, I hated running. I even refused to play a friendly baseball game with some friends a few years ago because I was afraid to run, especially <i>in front of people</I>. But then a couple of years ago, something came over me and I decided to try the C25K program and I really liked doing something where I could see progress. I also quite enjoyed the idea of overcoming something that I could never do before. The only problem was that I wasn’t really doing well at it. I could only complete the distances if I ran at a snail’s pace and I didn’t end up finishing more than week 6 or 7. I want to give this another go and try to do better.

2. <b>Ramp things up on the blog</b>: My goal is to update more frequently, participate more in the blogging community and really begin making this blog into what I envisioned when it began last October.

3. <b>Work out at least 4x per week</b>: I’m usually very good at doing this, but every month to two months it seems like there’s something that comes up that completely derails me. In April, it was getting a monster cold, followed by having to work way too much. Consistency is very important if I want to reach my fitness goals.

4. <b>Become more confident at work</b>: The past few weeks have included a lot of shakeups at the office and it’s left me learning some things that are new to me and that will take some time for me to become good at. By the end of the month, I want to feel good about these new things and be able to work with them comfortably.

Are you setting any goals this month?

May 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

We’re going to Vegas, baby!

D and I have been talking about going on a trip to Vegas practically since we met nearly 3 years ago. For one reason or another, we just haven’t been able to get a trip planned out and kept pushing it off… that is until now! In less than 2 months, we’ll be heading out west to gamble and take a week off from life. I’m extremely excited, as I’ve always wanted to go. For one thing, I’ve only ever been to one location in the west and that was a quick 2 day business trip to Seattle. For another thing, I enjoy casinos, playing cards, the excitement, the noise and the opportunity to eat at exotic new restaurants!

I downloaded a countdown widget for my phone and I’m letting this trip be a new goal for my Ms. Marvel Project. I want to lose at least 5 pounds by the time we leave. It would be great if I could do more than 5, but I’m being realistic here, based on how I know weight loss + Lisa ends up usually going.

Here is my new starting point:

Today’s weight – 147.6
Goal weight – 142.6

I have two months to do it and with some motivation and inspiration I know it will be possible.

Over here in Boston, it’s been pretend summer this week with temperatures getting up to almost 90 degrees yesterday. The drastic changes in weather have been taking a toll on me and I’ve come down with a bit of a cold, mixed with some lovely spring allergies. Needless to say, I’ve been sort of miserable as a result. I need this cold to go away at least a little before I jump into my new workout routine.

Anyone out there been to Vegas? Any suggestions for fun things to do while we’re there??

April 17, 2012 Posted by | Life, Project | , , , | 2 Comments

Meal Planning

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t overindulge or order takeout everyday is to plan meals in advance. I’ve had varying degrees of success with this process in the past, but it’s something I always want to come back to. So many nights, D and I will have this ever popular conversation:

Me: What do you want for dinner tonight?
D: I don’t know, what do you want?
Me: There’s really nothing in particular you want?
D: Well, I didn’t take any of my food out of the freezer so I can’t have any of that
Me: (Sighing) Maybe we should just get takeout

Takeout always seems like the easy and “fun” solution to these nightly debates. We really only indulge maybe 1-2 times during the work week, but the lure of not having to cook and of eating something that we both really enjoy sometimes get the best of us. After all, when we’re done eating, I almost always regret it. It’s MUCH higher in calories/salt/fat than anything I would ever cook myself, not to mention the money we’re shelling out that could be put toward anything else in the world.

To make matters just a teensy bit more complicated, I’m a vegetarian and D is not; not to mention the fact that D can’t eat anything spicy (which is my bread and butter) and also just plain doesn’t like some of other things I do. We almost always make two different meals, or at least 2 variations on the same meal when we’re eating together.

All of these factors make it all the more important for us to plan our dinners ahead of time so we’re not scrambling at 6PM after a long day of work.

The first thing I want to talk about when it comes to meal planning is the logistics – HOW and WHERE to do it. Over the past few months, I’ve tried a bunch of different methods:

1.) Writing it out with a pen and paper – This was our first attempt to get organized with our meals. D and I would sit down every Sunday with a blank page and write down what we would have every day of the upcoming week. I would then put the list on the fridge and we would reference it every day.

2.)Tracking it through a spreadsheet – Excel is always a good option for this.

3.)Tracking through Google Calendar – I created a separate calendar called “Meal Planning” and whenever I feel like it, I can go in and ad in any information regarding meals that I want on any particular day.

Strangely, I kind of miss being able to just write it all out with pen and paper so I might try and go back to that sometime soon.

No matter which method I was using, I always had 3 categories for each meal:
- A main dish for me
- A main dish for D
- A side dish (if we were feeling ambitious that day)

And also, I would make a note on each day anything I would need to do as prep for the next day’s meal (for example: taking some meat out of the freezer to defrost for D).

Of course everything has to be flexible as things come up during the week. For example, if we suddenly make plans after work, we can move things around and put a quicker meal on that day. This is where the Google Calendar approach is especially useful since you can just drag and drop your items.

What do you think? Any methods you’ve used that work great for you?

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Project | , | Leave a comment

When it feels like you’re always starting over

Do you ever get the feeling that every week, every month or even every few days you reach a point in your fitness journey where you know you’ve gone off track and have to start over?

I do.

Today is one of those days. I indulged quite a bit over the weekend (especially yesterday with chips and guacamole in the afternoon and pizza for dinner) and worked out pretty sparsely during the week, so today I’m once again trying to turn over a new leaf.

I blogged the other day about losing motivation and these two things are certainly connected. With low motivation comes bad decisions which then leads to feeling even less motivated, and on and on you go in a vicious circle.

It is now the beginning of a new week, a new month and a new season that should be arriving any day now (for real this time), so in a way it’s the perfect moment for me to be having this crisis of confidence. There’s so much newness and change that it’s hard to stay mired in the rut I’ve formed in my eating and exercising plan.

Also helping me get back into the right mindset: today I found an old picture of myself from probably a year and a half ago, when I was at the weight I’m trying to get back to now. I couldn’t believe how different I looked – and how much better! I want very badly to get back to that point and to feel that fit again. It’s really amazing what 10-15 pounds can do.

So, it’s back on, full force!

April 2, 2012 Posted by | Project | , | 2 Comments

Looking forward

I’ve done some thinking about goals this week, and one of those things I’m hoping to accomplish during the next several months is taking the Ms. Marvel Project to the next level. I knew when I started this blog that eventually I’d want to move to my own server and have more control over everything that goes into the design and functionality of the blog — this is the type of thing I do for a living after all! (except I don’t do it for blogs, but for software)

So, this week I’ve been researching server hosts and everything that would need to go into the process and I have a good plan of what to do next. All I have to do now is make the jump!

I’ve also put together a facebook page for the Ms. Marvel Project. There’s not a whole lot going on there yet, but if you’d like, you can join now:
http://www.facebook.com/msmarvelproject

As far as my fitness status? This week I did excellent with my eating and I’m very happy to report that because up to now, I hadn’t been doing that great. I did overindulge a little in NY last weekend with some exceptionally rich meals, but once I got back, I got very much back on track.

Now, the challenge of staying on track for the weekend! Anyone out there have any tips to share for staying on track on weekends?


This week’s Friday Blog Hops… check them out!

young and restless

That Friday Blog Hop

Blog Hops Everyday and A Mommy's Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Blogging, Project | , | Leave a comment

Where are you springtime?

Winter has made itself known here in the northeast once again. We’ve been lucky so far this winter in that it hasn’t snowed very much. But let’s be honest… it’s now March 1st and I desperately want some SPRING WEATHER!

That picture was taken just as it started to snow yesterday. It’s still snowing now, 24 hours later.

I’m dreaming of the days hopefully only a few weeks from now when I can walk outside without a gigantic winter coat, scarf and gloves; when I can open the windows in our apartment and let in some fresh air; and when I can finally get that renewed excitement about life that springtime always brings.

The motivation is already starting to kick up over here and I have been completely dedicating myself to all of my goals since we returned from New York. I’ve been eating great, though I haven’t worked out much — I brought back a minor cold with me when we returned — and I have some big projects in mind that I want to start working on in my life.

D and I spent a good portion of last night talking about the possibility of one day in the not too distant future looking at buying a house. One of my big goals this year was to pay off all of my debt (student loans and car loan) and so far so good in that department. If all goes according to plan, we will be financially ready to look into buying at the end of 2013. Coincidentally, we got a flyer in the mail yesterday for a free first time homebuyers seminar that’s being held at a local bank in our town at the end of the month, and we’re thinking of attending.

I’ve also got some big plans in mind for the Ms. Marvel Project and my fitness goals.

And on Saturday, I’m doing one of the things that always makes a girl feel fresh and renewed: I’m getting my hair cut! I really only bother getting it cut once every six months or so, so it really is kind of a big deal when it happens.

So, maybe spring fever has taken hold of me just a little bit, even if the weather hasn’t started to cooperate just yet.

What are some of your spring goals?

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Life, Project | , | 3 Comments

The elusive tipping point

So many bloggers out there talk about this phenomenon called a “tipping point” – the point in their lives at which losing weight/getting healthy seemed to click and start working for them. More often than not, I’ve seen other bloggers’ tipping points have been triggered by major life events – something big that happens that causes them to refocus their goals and make the necessary changes.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: How do you find your tipping point when everything in your life is status quo?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need some sort of tipping point to occur for me to finally start losing weight and getting in better shape. I work hard at working out, that’s for sure, but as I’ve mentioned many, many times before: my problem is food. And if you want to see results, you need to change your eating habits.

Maybe I need to take things into my own hands and do something drastic like throwing out all the bad food I have in my kitchen and restocking with nothing but healthy foods. I’m also hoping the changing seasons will kick things into gear, because nothing motivates me to want to improve my life more than the onset of springtime. It’s a season of change, and maybe it will get me out of this rut I find myself in.

D and I are going to New York this weekend and we’ve been preparing for it all week. It’s going to be a nice, although very brief, getaway and we’ll get to do some fun things while we’re there. Perhaps being in NYC again will inspire me.

What do you think about this “tipping point” business?

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Life, Project | , , | 3 Comments

Long term vs. Short term

One of the greatest battles we face with ourselves when it comes to getting healthier and in shape is the never-ending inner debate over which we want more: short term happiness or long term happiness. Logically, when we’re looking at it from a distance, long term happiness seems to be the obvious choice. It will last longer, for one thing, and more than likely it will be more fulfilling. This is why we create goals like losing 10 pounds or exercising more often – because we believe that it will help us achieve this happiness in the long term. If we didn’t think these things would make our lives better, we wouldn’t be trying so hard to achieve them.

However, the trouble comes when our short term happiness becomes more important. It’s so easy to fall into this trap:

I’m having a bad day, and if eat this chocolate, it’ll make me feel better

Or

I would much rather watch this TV show while lounging on the couch than going to work out today because it will make the evening a little more enjoyable

In situations like these, we’re sacrificing our long term goal for a little bit of short term happiness.

This is a constant issue for me. I always start the day with good intentions, but then as life unfolds during that day, I start looking for ways to make myself happy right now, and often that means doing something that isn’t in tune with my health goals.

This past weekend was a great example of this inner conflict. I went into the weekend having already worked out 4 times during the week, but with the intention of working out at least one more time on Saturday or Sunday. Instead, we got takeout for dinner two nights in a row, didn’t go to the gym, and yesterday in particular, I ate pretty much non-stop all day long.

I need to learn to tell myself that working on my long term goals WILL contribute to my happiness, and can even add to the short term happiness from time to time. There are many times when I feel much happier and more energized after a workout. It’s the food issue where the battle really takes place for me.

What do you think about long term vs. short term happiness?

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Project | , , , | 1 Comment

10 Pound Challenge check-in and a Fit Experiment

This week marks the 1 month point of Newlyweds on a Budget’s 10 Pound Challenge, and it’s time for a check-in.

How am I doing so far?

Well, I’m still struggling with my eats a little bit and splurging more than I should. However, my workouts are improving every week, and I know I’m getting stronger. Because of the food though, I havent’ seen too much change on the scale.

Starting weight: 146.8
Today’s weight: 145.6

Difference: 1.2 pounds
Pounds to go: 8.8

Still a ways to go, but I still have 2 months AND this week, I’ve taken another step in the direction of eating better: I joined My Fitness Pal. I had tried it out in the past, but I had never used the social features and I think this time around, that’s what’s going to keep me motivated. Are any of you using it? If so, add me! My username is msmarvelproject. Or leave your username in the comments and I’ll find you. Let’s help each other get in shape!

I’ve been tracking for 2 days and because I’m forced to track everything I put in my mouth, I’m less likely to have lots of random small snacks throughout the day. Also, one of my favorite features is that at the end of every day when you complete your entry, the program tells you that if every day was like that day, how much you would weigh in 5 weeks. It keeps you motivated!

This will be an experiment for me, and I’m excited to see if it will make a positive change in the way I eat.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Project | , , , | 7 Comments

The 10 Pound Challenge is on

The 10 Pound Challenge is on

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’m participating in the 10 pound challenge to lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks. And boy, am I ever glad I joined up with a challenge like this because this week I am lacking in energy and motivation like you wouldn’t believe. I fully believe the weather is at least partly responsible for this, because the past few days have been absolutely frigid, meaning wind chills well below 0 degrees (Farenheit) and to make matters worse, we live in a huge wind tunnel thanks to the fact that we’re in the valley of a river (or so I learned on Friday while riding the elevator with one of our elderly neighbors). I also walk to work because I’m lucky enough to live incredibly close to the office, but that does also mean much more time outside and walking through that awful wind tunnel. I bundle up the best I can, but there’s only so much of your face you can cover before you just can’t see or breathe anymore.

But it is January and this is to be expected, right? Spring will come soon enough, and not every day is so cold. Last night I was so exhausted, I wanted to go to bed at 9:30. I ended up sleeping pretty soundly, but I’m still not back up to my usual energy level.

It is incredibly motivating though, to think about the fact that I could very soon be 10 pounds lighter if I stick with the plan. To get there, I have to admit some things to myself and start making different changes:

- I’m pretty sure some of my lack of energy on days like yesterday/today have to do with lack of protein. I need to change this and find creative ways to get protein into my diet (I’m a vegetarian).

- Working out after work just doesn’t work for me. I can tell myself I’ll work out when I get home til the cows come home, but once I’m there, all I want to do is relax and not move. By that time of day, I’m exhausted. Morning workouts and lunchtime workouts are the best bets.

- I need to drink less alcohol. It’s not that I’m drinking every night or excessively, but I do drink regularly on the weekends and sometimes “treat” myself to something after a hard work day. I’ve read the articles and know that alcohol impedes weight loss, so this may be one of the factors contributing to my stagnation. Plus, less money spent!

These are things I definitely CAN change that will have a positive effect on my body. One thing I can’t change: the fact that I work in an office and I sit on my butt for 8 hours every day. Perhaps when the weather gets nicer, I can schedule a few times every day that I get up and go for a stroll around the parking lot. At least it’ll get me moving more, right?

Is anyone else participating in the challenge? How will you get there?

January 17, 2012 Posted by | Project | , , | 2 Comments

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